An illustration from an 1897 edition of Persuasion

The Physical Pleasures of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Smoldering glances? Romantic letters? Forbidden love? Why Persuasion may be the most seductive of Jane Austen's novels.
A couple expressing affection

The Language of Your Love Life

Pet names and baby talk between lovers can be cringe-worthy and even incriminating. So why do couples use such lovey-dovey language?
Felicitación de cumpleaños by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta

The Disappointing Reality of 19th-Century Courtship

For white, middle-class women in the 19th century U.S., courtship and marriage offered less emotional intimacy than their friendships with other women.
A collection of romance novels

The Business of the Romance Novel

How romance novels—despite their decided lack of cultural clout—became big business for the publishing industry.
Two teenagers dancing the jitterbug, 1942

Germany’s Real-Life “Swing Kids” 

Rebellious teenagers thumbed their noses at Hitler with jazz music, wild dancing, and the greeting “Swing Heil.” But how serious was their resistance?
Jacob Lawrence and one of his paintings

How American Artists Have Portrayed Haiti

In the early 20th century, African American artists created work that expressed solidarity with Haiti--whether they had been there or not.
King & Carter Jazzing Orchestra, Houston Texas, 1921

When Jazz Was a Public Health Crisis

In the 1920s, jazz music was thought to cause physical illness or even disability.
From an advertisement for a model kit tie in for the film The Silent Star, also released as First Spaceship on Venus

Socialist Sci-Fi Reimagined the Future

The 1960 East German film The Silent Star provided a significant cautionary tale for the Cold War era.
An anime character with headphones

Chill Beats to Study/Relax to

Why is lo-fi hip-hop so conducive to concentration?
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Asian Families, the RAND Book, and Science Fiction

New books and scholarship from Stanford University Press, University of Minnesota, and MIT Press.